When entrepreneurs dream of opening their own business, the images that usually come to mind are those of customers showing up to buy your products and services. You then watch how their lives improve as they happily ride away into the sunset on the horizon. Hopefully, they’ll come back for more at some point — and bring along their friends and family.
What doesn’t usually pop into these fantasies is all of the behind the scenes tasks to keep your business running. How to stay in contact with customers, how to follow up with them, how to keep track of all communications, and anything else that may make these interactions more pleasant and efficient.
But that’s ok. CRM software is here to save the day. And while there are many options in the market, we are gathered here today to discuss the wonders that it is to use the CMS created by HubSpot. But first, let’s go over the basics.
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform provides a centralized location to include all of your contacts’ information, including previous communications, prior purchases, and customer support queries.
In addition, it collects and stores data that can help you provide personalized service, such as likes, dislikes, birthdays, anniversaries, participation in past events, etc. In short, it keeps things organized for you and facilitates making customers happy.
Using a CRM is a surefire way to get rid of the old school way of keeping records. Instead of having a library of notebooks, binders, and Rolodexes (haha!), you can maintain all your records the way the tech deities intended. When you switch to this type of platform, you’ll notice the following benefits:
Organized Customer Files
You will always know where to find the information you’re looking for. Pull up the contact you’re searching, and voilá! All of their data, interactions, and milestones are right there, in front of you. They won’t have to repeat themselves, and you won’t have to sort through pages to answer questions or to see the status of your relationship with them (e.g. whether they are a lead, first time customer, a repeat one, awaiting on your business to deliver on something, whether it’s time to follow up with them, etc…)
Excel sheets can be fine and dandy when you have a relatively small business. But as you grow, it can quickly turn into a headache to keep track of every prospect and client.
Having a good CRM software means you can add as many new contacts as necessary. And if you eventually outgrow the free plan, you can upgrade to either have the capability to include additional contacts and/or to have access to additional functionalities.
Access to Files From Anywhere
Gone are the days of having to commute to an office on a daily basis. Today, many professionals conduct their business remotely — from home, from coffee shops, or while on business trips. Having a CRM means that no matter where a team member is located, they will always have access to a contact’s information.
1. It’s Free.
Raise your hand if you love to spend money. Ok. So it can be fun, and definitely useful. However, it’s also true that it’s beneficial to cut costs where you can — especially if you’re a startup or working with a tight budget.
HubSpot’s CRM provides free tools for contact management. In addition, you get access to free contact website activity, company insights, reporting dashboards, custom properties, and a long list of additional features.
2. It’s User Friendly.
You already have a million things on your to do list. So it’s good to know that you won't have to stare at your computer screen wondering how on Earth you’ll learn how to use HubSpot. Even before you watch any tutorial videos on how to use it, you can play around with it and figure out how to use a lot of the features intuitively.
3. It Provides Comprehensive Education.
Every product has a user guide, and if you’re lucky, a YouTube channel to guide you through the process. But HubSpot hits it out of the ballpark by also providing HubSpot Academy.
This is an entire library of online courses that will not only show you how to use the software, but also provides practical tips to maximize the use of features for your marketing and sales efforts.
4. It Facilitates Sales and Marketing Collaboration.
Sales and marketing may be two departments, but they need to have a symbiotic relationship to be effective. The HubSpot CRM makes it easy for them to work together and get a full view of a contact’s history with your company.
They can also provide feedback and leave notes for each other, and they can tag specific team members to ensure they stay updated.
5. It Automates Repetitive Tasks.
Some client communications need attention from a team member. Such is the case with conversations with prospects or addressing complex issues. Others are simple and repetitive — yet can be unnecessarily time-consuming. HubSpot automatically logs all customer interactions and takes care of data entry.
You can also set HubSpot’s CRM to deploy automatic communications based on specific user behavior. For example, sending out scheduled emails when a lead subscribes to your marketing email list, sending out gated content when a person enrolls in a webinar or online course, or a thank you email after a person completes a purchase.
6. It Lets You Create Workflows.
HubSpot’s CRM has a Workflows tool that automates marketing, sales, and customer support processes. So any time you need to notify one of your sales reps to reach out to a new lead, schedule a meeting with a prospect, and/or welcome a new customer, you can fill out one of the existing templates, and the platform will deploy the tasks to the right user upon certain enrollment triggers.
7. It Keeps You On Task.
Project management requires staying on top of a lot of information. HubSpot’s CRM provides you with task management tools that prioritize items in the order in which they need to be accomplished, as well as allowing you to set due dates, categorize items within a task, and verify task progress status.
8. It Segments Contacts.
The most effective way to communicate with any prospect or customer is to tailor the content to their specific circumstances. Prospects have one specific set of needs — for example, knowing how you can address their pain points, receive satisfactory answers to their questions, or learn about why your product or service is superior to competitors. By the same token, existing customers would benefit from re-engagement and follow-up content regarding purchases they have already made.
HubSpot’s segmentation feature categorizes your contacts so that you can tailor your communications based on who each contact is. It also saves their preferred style of communication, so that you can always reach them the way that’s most convenient to them.
9. It Allows Personalization.
Let’s say you sell sports equipment. Jolly Jane keeps coming to your store to buy running shoes and apparel. She once ordered some from your website and filled out a form on a landing page so that she could download a free marathon training plan.
You have the information she entered stored in your CRM. So now you can send her discount codes on her birthday, emails suggesting running shoes for her overpronation, early registration links for her favorite races, etc… Jolly Jane will love you forever.
10. It Simplifies Interactions With Customers.
How many times have you called a business, and had your call transferred from one department to the next? You have to tell your story over and over again. You may also have had to deal with different reps telling you contradictory information.
HubSpot eliminates this hassle by having every contact’s history right there on the screen, for whoever gets to answer that phone, live chat box, or email. It makes life easier for both customers and your team.
11. It Lets You Import Existing Contacts.
Unless you’re first starting your business today (and if so, congratulations!) chances are you already have a list of contacts. HubSpot’s CRM makes it easy to import your existing data with a couple of clicks. You can also create custom properties to make it match your company’s setup. It will also keep your new database cleaner since it automatically deletes duplicate email addresses and companies.
12. It Integrates With Your Existing Marketing Technologies.
HubSpot offers a lot of tools outside of their CRM platform — such as CMS, marketing, and customer support. But if you’re already using other software, including WordPress, Gmail, Google Calendar, Salesforce, HotJar, EventBrite, NetSuite, Drupal, PayPal, Zoho, Shopify, MailChimp, Outlook, Slack, and/or Proposify, just to name a few, know that they can all be synced up with HubSpot. To be 100% sure, enter the name of any technology you’re currently using on the HubSpot App Marketplace, to search for it.
13. It Collects Data.
Once you’re using HubSpot’s CRM, you won’t have to worry about keeping track of anything manually.
Every time someone visits your website for the first time, enters their information on a landing page, visits your page repeatedly; or visits more often from their mobile phone than from a computer; or accesses your information through your social media posts or marketing emails; makes a purchase, refers a friend…. All this information is automatically stored by the platform so that you can provide a more personalized experience.
14. It Lets You Customize Dashboards.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to consuming content and analyzing data. Taking this into account, HubSpot lets you customize your analytics dashboards in a way that makes sense to you.
Also, you can create different dashboards, so that team members can focus on the metrics that are relevant to their job roles.
15. It Links Into Your Entire Sales Universe.
Your sales team will always have access to all the contact data stored in HubSpot’s CRM. Therefore, they will always have the information they need to identify when someone is ready to make a purchase, as well as cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
And if a prospect is still not quite ready to become a customer, your sales reps can look into a contact’s profile to see how they can push them to the finish line; such as the most recent pages they have reviewed on your site and any other intelligence that is helpful to identify favorable circumstances that may lead into a sale.
16. It’s Conversation Focused.
HubSpot has a conversations tool that allows your team to view, manage, and reply to all communications from contacts, regardless of the channel — email, social media, chat box, etc… They are all collected into one inbox, to make it easier for you to keep track of everything and prevent messages from falling through the cracks.
17. It’s Conversion Oriented, Too.
Everything HubSpot does is designed to convert your leads into customers. This is why there are so many automation features that personalize communications and nurture leads.
And the CRM enables this by gathering all relevant information, identifying high-intent behaviors (such as visiting a pricing page or scheduling a demo), and setting forth a lead conversion path (such as deploying automatic emails inviting a qualified lead to speak with one of your reps).
18. It Has a Customer Ticketing System.
If you have customers, you’re gonna need customer support. And HubSpot’s customer ticketing system facilitates managing all customer issues.
And don’t worry — their help desk and ticketing software is also free. And once you have it, you organize and keep track of all customer queries, as well as track the progress of their resolutions.
19. It’s a Launchpad to Inbound Success.
Marketing and sales are crucial, but the pièce de résistance to get it all to work like a well-oiled machine is inbound marketing. And HubSpot makes it as easy as possible.
Getting started with HubSpot is easy. Simply follow these steps:
- Go to HubSpot’s CRM signup page.
- Fill out the form where it says, "Create your free account."
- This includes your full name and email address.
- Or, you can simply sign up with your Google account.
- Click Next, then follow the rest of the steps to complete your set up in just a few minutes.
Once you finish answering the questions, your account will be ready and you’ll be able to log in from the sign in page. Yes; it really is as simple as that!
When logged in, you’ll see your default dashboard, and you’ll have the option to watch a demo. If you skip the demo, you can go ahead and customize your dashboard. You’ll also see a list of tasks to complete, such as:
- Adding the tracking code to your website
- Importing your contacts
- Creating an email list
- Inviting your team
- Creating forms
- Sending your first email campaign
Remember that while the CRM features are always free, if you want to include additional tools, such as for marketing or sales, you’ll have to upgrade your account.
While you can certainly watch the demo and play around on the site, you can maximize the benefits of the HubSpot CRM by doing business with a HubSpot Solutions Partner.
For example, say you hire a business consultant, an inbound marketing team, or someone to redesign your website from one of such agencies. In addition to performing these services within the HubSpot platform, a Solutions Partner will show you the ropes so that you have a thorough understanding of how to use all elements of the CRM platform, including:
Although HubSpot has an intuitive interface, you still have to take some time to learn how to use it. Partner agencies guide you during the onboarding process, so that you can become aware of all the features you need, and how to use them.
Migrating Your Website
Switching website platforms does require expert guidance. You want to use templates that look and feel like your existing brand, with the same graphics setup, SEO credit, and an exceptional user experience. A Solutions Partner will help you get it all done and walk you through the elements that may change due to the migration process.
While HubSpot’s knowledge base is user-friendly and detailed, it’s understandable if you’re worried about botching the importation of your contacts and other business data. A Solutions Partner agency shows you how to get it done, in an easy-to-understand way so that you can, later on, teach other team members how to do it.
Once you’ve learned how to segment your contacts, a Solutions Partner can walk you through all of the HubSpot features that are designed to nurture your leads until they are ready to become customers.
Business Growth Acceleration
A HubSpot Solution Partner agency will also show you all the CRM tools you can use to leverage your relationships with existing customers, such as those that enable cross-sell and upsell opportunities, as well as client referrals.
As you can see, HubSpot’s CRM streamlines and simplifies contact management, relationship building, and business growth. And with the right Solutions Partner agency, you’ll have expert guidance every step of the way.